Improving communication between nurses and patients
State-of-the-art system delivers higher level of care
Communication is crucial to any relationship, especially between patients and nurses. Their dialogue is so important it has been given the digital treatment at Methodist Hospital by The Methodist Hospital Foundation.
“The patients love the electronic communication boards. They know who is in their room, the information they get that they may forget, the phone numbers they need,” says John Renzi, nurse manager of the B3 Surgical Unit at Jefferson’s Methodist Hospital. “Their families feel the same way. The staff is so proud of it — it’s the first in the region that I have seen — and they see all of its potential.”
The Foundation saw the potential of the e-boards — a 50-plus-inch screen at the nurses’ station, a tablet hung by a patient’s door and a 42-inch screen in a patient’s room — to improve communication and gave $70,000 to outfit 16 rooms. The screens offer a comprehensive, legible, language-specific overview of a patient — from personal information to dietary requirements — that benefits patient and nurse alike.
The e-boards are updated throughout a shift, but do not just inform nurses if a patient is in X-ray or a fall risk. The boards also “tell” nurses when it is time for hourly rounds through a color-coded system. Nurses carry badges that “talk” to the boards and signal when and who has visited a patient. The system is changing how patients and nurses communicate, but also how the hospital uses its resources.
“I don’t have paperwork – the boards do it for us when we enter the information. It also is having an environmental impact in the amount of paper we use. Most importantly, it is a high-end, state-of-the-art system that helps us deliver an even higher level of quality care to our patients,” says Renzi.